Jimmy Kimmel on the Oscars' Best Picture Mix-Up: "Clyde Threw Bonnie Under the Bus"

"I'm standing there like an idiot feeling bad for these guys, but also trying really hard not to laugh," the host says

By Zach Johnson Feb 28, 2017 12:35 PMTags

For Jimmy Kimmel, it was back to business as usual after the 2017 Oscars.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host opened Monday's show by discussing the most talked about moments of the 89th Academy Awards. At the top of his monologue, he asked the audience, "Have any of you here ever hosted the Oscars before? Except for the end, it was a lot of fun."

Referring to the Best Picture mix-up between La La Land and Moonlight (the rightful winner), Kimmel joked, "It went very well. We were chugging along, and then, all of a sudden out of nowhere, it turned into a Maury Povich paternity test shows. It was the weirdest TV finale since Lost. As I'm sure you've at least heard La La Land was simultaneously the biggest winner and loser last night. You know it's a strange night when the word 'envelope' is trending on Twitter."

"In case you missed it, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway—it was the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, and they played Bonnie and Clyde—so the Academy asked them to present Best Picture, the biggest award of the night. It's the last one they give out. So, they come out—with the envelope—and here's where the story starts," Kimmel said before showing the mix-up. "In retrospect, what Warren did was...He was confused, so he handed it to Faye and let her read the winner. In other words, Clyde threw Bonnie under the bus, which was a slick move."

Everything We Know About the 2017 Oscars Best Picture Envelope Mix-Up

"So, Faye Dunaway announces La La Land as best picture, which made sense—it was the favorite to win. So the La La Land producers get up on stage, which made sense—they thought they had won. And a few of them—Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt and Fred Burger—gave speeches. I'm now sitting in the audience watching the speeches. The plan is for me to end the show from the audience in a seat next to Matt Damon—who, I want to make no mistake about, whatever confusion there was about who won—Matt Damon lost. He was a loser. He's a loser."

"We're sitting there and we notice some commotion going on. Matt says, 'I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.' The stage manager is never on camera; it's very unusual. But you figure, 'Well, the host will go onstage and clear this up.' And then I remember, 'Oh, I'm the host.' I go, 'All right.' I just walk up the stairs and as soon as I get up there, this happens," Kimmel said before showing the clip of Horowitz correcting the error and giving the award to Moonlight. "It's kind of scary, in a way. That was the producer of La La Land; he thought he won. He's standing there holding an Oscar that they're now going to take away from him. My first instinct was to tell him to run—just take that Oscar and get out! But he didn't."

"Now there's mass confusion," Kimmel said. "The audience is confused, the people standing around me are confused, I assume everyone at home is confused, and I'm probably supposed to do something, because no one's doing anything. And then Warren Beatty steps up to explain."

2017 Oscars Winners Portraits

After reviewing Beatty's explanation, Kimmel said, "Moonlight wins Best Picture, and now we have the producers of two movies onstage. Who the hell even knows who is who from which movie? I'm standing there like an idiot feeling bad for these guys, but also trying really hard not to laugh, to be honest. I see Denzel Washington in the front row trying to get my attention. He's gesturing and he's pointing. I don't know what he's [doing], but he yells, 'Barry!' I'm like, 'What?' He says, 'Barry!' Eventually I figure out that Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight, is standing behind me, and Denzel wants me to get him to the microphone to make a speech, which made sense."

"Thank God Denzel was there to make sense!" he joked. "I'm listening to Denzel, as you should. I went and got Barry; he spoke, but not for very long. Then there was another quick speech, and then everyone just stood there, kind of shell-shocked. And I ended the show."

"As I walked offstage, people started to speculate. People around me said, 'Did you pull a prank of some kind?' I was like, 'Hey! I did not pull a prank.' If I had pulled a prank in that situation, I wouldn't have just had the wrong winner's name in the envelope. When they opened it, there would have been a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon inside," Kimmel joked. "It was not a prank."


"By the way, the producers of La La Land were very gracious, which they did not have to be, on-stage and -off. They were very nice," he said. "They handled it well. It was a very amicable custody arrangement. They didn't even ask for visitation or anything."

"After the show, I went back in the green room to talk to Warren Beatty, because still nobody knows what happens. He showed me the evidence. You know, when you do a show like this, you aren't just the host—you're also the lead detective, the sheriff of the show. Warren Beatty could be in prison right now if I wanted him to. But the card said, 'Emma Stone, La La Land.' Which was weird, because Emma Stone, who won Best Actress for La La Land, at that moment was in the press room doing interviews, saying [she had possession of her envelope]."

Oscars 2017 Red Carpet Arrivals

"She said she had the card, but I was with Warren and he had the card. Well, it turns out they both had the card. For whatever reason, they have two of each envelope. There's a regular envelope and a backup envelope, just to make it more confusing. The accountants gave Warren the wrong card, and they apologized for it today. It wasn't Warren Beatty's fault," Kimmel said. "Faye Dunaway made quite a getaway. She read the wrong name and split. She got the hell out of there. She was smart, too. I spent the whole rest of the night answering questions about it."

"It was quite an evening," he added. "It really was."

The night could've gone worse, Kimmel said.

"Oscar day was even more dramatic than Oscar night," Kimmel said. "During our rehearsal the day of the show—about halfway through—at about noon yesterday a huge part of the set collapsed. Two giant—I mean, 25- or 30-foot tall structures—[fell]. I was on-stage, I stepped off-stage as part of a rehearsal, they both came crashing down. It scared the crap out of everybody. A lot of people thought a bomb went off. My wife shoved our daughter under a table to protect her. Somehow—even though we had like 15 cameras going—no one got this on video."

Luckily, he had a picture. "These things are made out of wood; someone easily could've been crushed. Not me; I have reflexes like Spider-Man. But a regular human could've been crushed by that thing," he said. "The envelope was a distant second in the disaster category yesterday. Not many people know this: The Dolby Theater was built on an ancient Indian burial ground."

"Fortunately, nobody was hurt," the late-night host told his audience. "I could have been the first person in history to both host and appear in the In Memoriam montage in the same show."

"Speaking of the In Memoriam montage, there was a little bit of a mix-up there, too, last night," Kimmel said before showing the producers' error. "So that woman there, who passed away— Janet Patterson? That's not Janet Patterson," he said. "That's a picture of a another producer named Jan Chapman, who is very much alive. They put a picture of a live person in the In Memoriam. Which—technically, according to Academy Rules—we now have to kill her. Seeing yourself in an In Memoriam is probably one of the most surprising ways to find out you died."

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